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Board of Directors

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Birger Bäckman

TTPC Chairman & President

BIRGER BÄCKMAN is a Finnish national, graduated from Helsinki University as Master of Political Science and Macro-Economy.  His over 60 year career in the travel and tourism industry includes managerial positions at airlines, travel agencies, tour-operator and cruise companies in Finland, Sweden and Germany and he has been actively engaged in numerous committees and working groups within the travel and tourism industry nationally, regionally and internationally; he has held board positions in trade associations covering Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Egypt, Israel and South Korea and served as advisor to Government tourism authorities.  In 1989-1990 he was World President of AISC with 24,000 members in the tourism industry. 

Mr. Bäckman joined the UFTAA Board in 1993 and took over as CEO in 1997, remaining until retirement in 2005.  He thereafter served UFTAA as Senior Board Advisor until 2009 and is an Honorary Board Member currently.  He is still active as an independent industry consultant in which capacity he acts as TTPC Chairman and President.  

Multilingual and with his broad classic background he has in addition served many organizations outside the travel and tourism field.  He is honored with the "Medalla al Merito Turistico", Spain 1971 and is "Cavaliere della Repubblica Italiana", OMRI 1974.   He received the "Premio della Solidarieta" Centre of Art and Culture, Italy 1977. Special interests are classical music, art and diplomacy.  He can be reached at president@ttpc.travel.

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Yossi Fatael

Managing Director
Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association
Israel

YOSSI FATAEL has for twenty-five years been a leader in the travel industry in Israel, both as an entrepreneur and within Israeli travel associations. He is currently Managing Director of Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association and the former Managing Director of The Israel Travel Agents Association (till 2015). The commercial company Smile Travel Services Ltd is a subsidiary of the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association.

At the international level he is a longstanding Member of the Passenger Programme Global Joint Council (PAPGJC, which is an official and permanent body of IATA (International Air Transport Association) and the Global Travel Agents Associations. He is also Vice President of UFTAA

Mr. Fatael holds a Bachelor of Social Science, from Tel Aviv University. Prior to receipt of that degree in 1986 he studied Mathematics and Computer Science at Hebrew University (Jerusalem).  He can be reached at y.fatael@gmail.com

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Tunku Iskandar

Group Executive Chairman Melewar Group
Life Member PATA - Pacific Asia Travel Association
& Asean Tourism Association

TUNKU ISKANDAR has led a number of national and international travel and tourism associations including as President/Chairman - Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), President - Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), President - ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA), President - Federation of ASEAN Travel Associations (FATA), Chairman - Indian Ocean Tourism Organisation (IOTO) and Founder Chairman - National Tourism Council of Malaysia (NTCM). He is currently Regional Vice President (APAC) of the APG Network

He has been a Board Member of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board and former President of SKAL International Kuala Lumpur and Rotary Club of Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

Tunku Iskandar is also Group Executive Chairman of Melewar Group Berhad; Group President of the Mitra Group of travel companies, Pacific World Travel Malaysia, World Express Tours Malaysia and APG Malaysia & APG Singapore.

He holds a Master of Science Degree in International Marketing of the University of Strathclyde, UK. He was also appointed Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK) and the Institute of Administrative Management (UK. In 1984, he received the “Triple-A” Alumni Achievement Award from the Asian Institute of Management. In 2018, he was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Business degree by Taylor’s University, Malaysia in recognition of his contributions over the past 45 years to the travel and tourism industry and to business generally.  He can be reached at iskandar@melewar.travel.

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Ashwini Kakkar

Management Professional

ASHWINI KAKKAR is an internationally well known Indian entrepreneur.  Currently Chairman of Ambit Capital, Ambit Private Limited.  Past Chairman of VIA.com, shareholder and former Executive Vice Chairman of Mercury Travel Ltd and with long experience as Board Member of Thomas Cook international.  He is a Mechanical Engineer and also holds a Finance degree from Indian Institute of Management.  Ha has an MBA from INSED, France and a Law education from Mumbai Government Law College.  Mr. Kakkar has multinational work experience from e.g. Otis Elevators, Philips and General Electrics (GM-India) and has been active on boards such as Alliance Capitals, Reserve Bank of India (DICGC), Prudential, Europ Assistance India, Himalayan Explorations, etc.   He is also an Angel Investor and mentor to start-ups across industry segments.  As an active investor he holds a broad insight in the various sectors of the travel and tourism industry.  

A past President of Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), and distinguished fellow of the Institute of Directors (London), Mr. Kakkar is a "Chevalier de L'Ordre National du Merite, France 2006 and has received The Golden Peacock Award for best Corporate Governance, was nominated Best Wealth Creator of the Year by Foundation of Indian Industry and Economists, as well as Top CEO Award for Excellence by the Indian Institute of Marketing and Management.   

Ashwini Kakkar is proficient in several languages, is an avid collector of modern and contemporary Indian Art, has a keen interest in sports and can be reached at ashkakkar@gmail.com.

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Victor S. Parra

Industry Advisor at CFA MidSouth

Victor Parra joined the CFA MidSouth team as an Industry Advisor after serving as President and CEO of the United Motorcoach Association (UMA). He retired from UMA on April 1, 2017, after 19 years of service. Vic also served as President and CEO of BusRates.com, a for-profit charter bus booking site and a subsidiary of UMA. Additionally, he served as industry advisor to the Board of the Directors of the International Registration Plan (IRP) since January 1999. He served on the Board of Governors and Chairman for Visit Alexandria, the convention and tourism association for the city of Alexandria, Virginia, from June 2007 through June 2016.

Vic has more than 45 years of association management and lobbying experience activities. He is a native of New York City and a graduate of Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.  He can be reached at vparra@strategic-focus.com.

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Trang Nguyen

Vice President Business Development Donuts Inc

Trang currently serves as Donuts Inc.'s Vice President of Business Development. In this role, Trang has overall responsibility for the company's vertical market strategy, including the .travel vertical. Prior to joining Donuts, Trang was with ICANN for eight and a half years. During her tenure, Trang held senior-level positions spanning operations, policy implementation, and strategy. As a Senior Director of operations, Trang built and led the team that implemented the 2012 round of gTLDs, including all aspects of application processing and contracting. The program yielded more than 1,100 new top-level domains. As the Vice President of Strategic Programs, Trang played a critical role during the IANA stewardship transition, leading the coordinated efforts of various stakeholders and ICANN org to successfully implement the transition proposals. Upon completion of that effort, Trang took on oversight of programs supporting subsequent procedures for gTLDs, Registration Directory Services (RDS), and registrants until her departure from ICANN.

Before joining ICANN, Trang held various senior positions at small companies and large technology corporations in the area of strategy and communications. Her work included overall responsibility for the definition and execution of go-to-market strategy for KPMG's southwest region; advising non-profit organizations and technology companies on communications and outreach strategies; developing brand strategy for a start-up as well as a global, publicly-traded, healthcare IT consulting firm, which was acquired by Computer Sciences Corporation; and launching a new digital product for a software company

Trang served on the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI)'s Board from October 2018 until her departure from ICANN in October 2019. PTI is a U.S. non-profit based in California whose sole purpose is to serve ICANN's mission. In this context, PTI's role is the operational and technical coordination of the Internet's top identifiers--names, numbers, and protocol parameters. During her time on the PTI Board, Trang guided the organization in the development of its first 5-year strategic plan.  She can be reached at trang@donuts.email

Management

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Geraldine Berkowitz

CPA, Corporate Secretary & Treasurer

Geraldine Berkowitz has worked for Dancing Bear Investments as Controller for the past 18 years. Prior to Dancing Bear, Geraldine was Controller for theglobe.com for five years and worked in management positions in both the rental and accounting areas of Enterprise Rent A Car for thirteen years

Geraldine received a Bachelor of Business in Management from Florida International University and a Masters in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University and is a Certified Public Accountant.  She can be reached at secretariat@ttpc.travel.